Cactus League Days/Weeks/Years Bleed Into One Another: Mariners at Diamondbacks

marc w · March 24, 2013 at 11:52 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Joe Saunders vs. Wade Miley, 1:05pm

Unhappy with their AAA centerfield depth, the M’s signed Endy Chavez to a minor league deal today, after Chavez opted out of his contract with the Royals. Chavez played with the M’s in 2009 before destroying his knee in a collision with Yuni Betancourt. He rebounded well enough to put up a 1.5 WAR season in limited time with the Rangers in 2011, but the less said about his 2012, the better. He’s talked about starting in AAA, so this isn’t a Garland situation where he’ll test the waters if he doesn’t make the club. That might keep Francisco Martinez in Jackson to start the year, or it could push Abe Almonte to a 4th outfielder role/job share with either Chavez or Martinez.

Joe Saunders hasn’t pitched particularly well this spring, but that doesn’t really matter. He is who he is, a lefty whose lack of raw stuff inevitably attracts the adjective ‘crafty.’ It’d be nice to see how hard he’s throwing, but this game’s at Talking Stick, so not only will we not get any pitch fx readings, we’ll also get to see Saunders bat.

1: Gutierrez, CF
2: Andino, 3B
3: Morales, 1B
4: Morse, RF
5: Bay, LF
6: Shoppach, C
7: Ackley, 2B
8: Ryan, SS
9/SP: Joe Saunders


24 Responses to “Cactus League Days/Weeks/Years Bleed Into One Another: Mariners at Diamondbacks”

  1. Westside guy on March 24th, 2013 11:59 am

    On the bright side – at least Endy can actually play the outfield without embarrassing himself, unlike all the other pickups Z’s made this winter.

    BTW I may start referring to him as Endymion since that’s what my iPad thinks he should be called anyway.

  2. Paul B on March 24th, 2013 1:13 pm


  3. Paul B on March 24th, 2013 1:22 pm

    Endy is CF depth. We may see him when the old guys prove they can’t run down balls.

  4. Ralph_Malph on March 24th, 2013 1:38 pm

    Endymion is kind of an old guy himself.

  5. Westside guy on March 24th, 2013 1:49 pm

    So when J. Saunders gets back to the dugout after getting on base, how long before will it be before Felix starts talking about his grand slam?

  6. juneau_fan on March 24th, 2013 2:00 pm

    Felix did mention his grand slam in the interview yesterday…

  7. juneau_fan on March 24th, 2013 2:01 pm

    Obviously running the bases took it out of Saunders.

  8. argh on March 24th, 2013 2:08 pm

    Spring training may not mean anything but back to back games with 5 run innings against potential members of the Mariner rotation are still kind of irritating.

  9. ck on March 24th, 2013 2:14 pm

    ESPN says Outfielder Wells to the Yankees. No, not our Wells…

  10. Westside guy on March 24th, 2013 2:16 pm

    Especially with an older pitcher who’s less likely to be working on a pitch and more likely to be really pitching his game…

  11. juneau_fan on March 24th, 2013 2:45 pm

    Ouch! Glanced back at Gameday…Damn.

  12. Westside guy on March 24th, 2013 2:59 pm

    I wonder if it’s entirely coincidental that Bay’s average has been rapidly dropping since he’s gotten to the part of spring training where he has to mostly face major league pitchers.

  13. Westside guy on March 24th, 2013 3:13 pm

    Why on earth would the Yankees want Vernon Wells?

  14. juneau_fan on March 24th, 2013 3:15 pm

    Because he’s old and broken down?

    I was shocked to see they picked up Haffner and then Cleveland replaced him with someone even older and more broken down.

    Veteran grit for everyone!

  15. Westside guy on March 24th, 2013 3:19 pm

    In the past they’ve generally stuck to expensive old guys who could still perform. Vernon Wells? Raul’s better than him!

  16. juneau_fan on March 24th, 2013 3:44 pm

    Yeah, aren’t we lucky to have Raul instead of the Yanks?

    One funny thing is the whole ‘club house presence’ who-ha. Raul’s such a clubhouse presence! Ichiro had no club house presence! Yet I see one of the reasons that the Nat’s let Morse go was he wasn’t a clubhouse presence and they could replace him with someone who was. But who do I see giving a lot of Mariners’ clubhouse comments? Morse. And talking about being a clubhouse leader, blah, blah.

    At least the game’s going quickly.

  17. juneau_fan on March 24th, 2013 4:50 pm

    Hey, our dreaded foes, the Padres, just released Freddie Garcia!



  18. Kazinski on March 24th, 2013 5:01 pm

    Having Endy stashed in the minors is a bad sign for Casper Wells. That will answer the bench CF question if Gutierrez or Saunders get hurt for more than a few games.

    But it still doesn’t supply an answer of who the late inning defensive replacement for Morse will be.

  19. Seattleken on March 24th, 2013 6:56 pm

    I think they will just play roulette with corner outfield defense. Odds of a tough play ball being hit to a RF in the final inning or two is not very high. Typically there would be 1 play every play every 3 innings for a corner outfielder and most of those are routine, catch-able balls and obvious hits. Then you add in K rates for closers and it just becomes too much of a luxury to have a spot dedicated to OF defense.

    Its obvious management doesn`t see enough in Casper, not marketable like Bay and Ibanez, no chance to have an all-star season. Sure he has probably an 80% chance to be worth one win more than Ibanez and Bay, but they are willing to give that up for a chance Bay comes back and hits 15 homers by the all-star break and becomes the feel good local boy story of the year.

  20. MrZDevotee on March 24th, 2013 8:27 pm

    Any chance Loe can will (pre-humously) his Opt Out clause to Saunders before Monday?

    Was it as bad as it read on paper?

    Results don’t matter, Spring Training, I know… but 11+ ERA for the Spring?

    “Sorry Mr. Garland but we don’t have a spot for you.” (Joe Saunders in the background, singing to himself in the showers… “La-di-dah…” Whistling away… Toweling off…)

    (Average M’s fan: crosses fingers, prays)

  21. Shawnuel on March 24th, 2013 9:12 pm

    Seems like ‘pitch to contact’ guys like Saunders & Vargas tend to royally suck in the thin air and comfy confines of the Cactus league. I wouldn’t get too worried until this consistently happens during the regular season. If Safeco in April can’t help keep the ball in the park, then Saunders and Beavan are in for a long season….or a very short one.

  22. Rick L on March 24th, 2013 9:19 pm

    Joe Saunders is giving every indication of being the Chone Figgins of pitchers.

  23. djw on March 25th, 2013 5:50 am

    Odds of a tough play ball being hit to a RF in the final inning or two is not very high.

    It’s silly to focus on the last few innings. Runs scored throughout the game all count, and they count the same.

    We have a pretty good idea how to measure the value and importance of defense. Trying to redo the math like this to minimize the significance of something whose significance is well understood isn’t helpful.

  24. Ralph_Malph on March 25th, 2013 7:56 am

    I am always amused at hearing about the thin air of the Cactus League. The elevation in Peoria, Arizona is 1,142 feet. Kansas City is at 910 feet. Minneapolis is at 830 feet. Atlanta is at 1,050. Why don’t we hear about the thin air in Atlanta?

    It’s also dryer in Phoenix than in most major league towns. Dry air — contrary to the conventional wisdom — is more dense than moist air. Given the humidity, maybe we should talk about the thin air in Seattle.

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